This week’s message focused in on the things that we are about accomplishing as a church. At the very core of our existence, God wants us to be about two things, loving Him, and loving other people.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Our love for one another is our trademark trait as followers of Christ. It is the characteristic that the world should know us by. Our goal for the church is that as we follow Jesus, our faith in God increases, along with our love for one another.
2 Thessalonians 1:3
Our goal as a church is to love God more, and love people more. The strategy for this goal is summed up in the pursuit of three things; intimacy with God, community with insiders, and influence with outsiders.
Intimacy with God is not just knowing things about God, but having a personal relationship with Him. It is about trusting God as we put the things we believe into practice.
Community with insiders is about letting other believers into our lives. It is about connecting relationally and growing spiritually together.
Influence with outsiders has to do with the way that we love people outside the church. It is about practicing influence that seeks to love and to serve instead of influence that seeks to overpower and manipulate.
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.
In his message, Scott pointed out the connection that Jesus makes between loving God and loving people. In spite of the fact that you cannot love God without loving those He created, people have historically attempted to do just that. What does it look like when someone tries to serve God without loving people?
2 Thessalonians 1:3 also links our faith in God to our love for others. How does growing faith in God increase our love for others? How does loving others increase our faith in God?
Matthew 20:25-28 contrasts the power structure of the world against the powerful influence of people who follow Jesus. We are directed to not exercise the kind of power and authority that is prevalent in the world. How do worldly leaders lord their authority over others today?
What are examples of times that well-meaning Christians attempt to lord their authority over people instead of serving them?
How would things change if we used all of our power and authority to love and serve others instead of trying to exert power over them?
PRAY FOR YOUR LIFE GROUP
Pray that we will have greater intimacy with God, authentic community with each other, and increasing influence with people who need Jesus.
PRAY FOR FCC & OUR COMMUNITY
Pray that we will leverage whatever authority, power and resources we possess as a church to lovingly service others, and never to lord it over people.
PRAY FOR OUR GLOBAL PARTNERS
Spend a moment praising God for the significant progress last week’s adult FCC Chile team made in building a bigger gathering space for a Church in Chile. Pray for peace, smooth travels, and a positive impact and experience for the High School Chile team serving this week in Santiago.